Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tomb Raider Review

Tomb Raider is a reboot of the franchise, and while I don't normally agree with reboots or like them, this one surprised me because they did such a great job with the game in graphics, sounds, and gameplay.

The new Tomb Raider has Lara Croft on a ship called Endurance. They are on an expedition to find Himiko and her kingdom of Yamatai. After going back and fourth Lara suggests going into the treacherous Dragon’s Triangle, where she says is the best place for it to be. While Dr. James Whitman (famous archaeologist) doesn't agree with Lara, the rest of the crew side with Lara and sail into the Triangle.

This might not have been a good decision however, because they soon went into a horrific storm, that breaks the ship into two and crashes on an island. Now being separated from everyone else, Lara must now fight for survival and hopefully reunite with her stranded crew mates.

The fight for survival is going to be painful for some. They don't sugarcoat the many ways you can die in this game. There are some that hit my core like OMFG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There was one part (Not going to say what it is and ruin it for you) but I had to stop playing because it was disturbing to me. However, this is one of the many good things about this game. You see a more inept look at how the choices you make impact your chance of survival.

Ont op of the pretty good main story, you learn about not only the other characters stories, but also Lara's from collectibles you can collect like documents. Some are of your friends, and others are from people who have come to this island as well.

The progression of Lara crofts character of her adventure on the island is also so well done, there are no parts that I feel rushed and I don't feel that her character is too rushed either. That's not me saying that she isn't rushed because there is a point where you have to make a call, that call is a tough one for anyone to make and after you do it, you will start to see Lara's character progress, and probably along with yourself.

Aiming and firing in this game are very well done, I do like that there is no hip fire, you must actually aim and then fire. I know some pope might hate this, but it's not a shooter, it's an adventure game with shooter aspects.

That still boggles my mind, people are complaining that this game is too much like a shooter and that the original never was.

Ummm... people, what's really different here? Yes, they do have you rely more on the shooting part, but there has been shooting in Tomb Raider before so what's the real problem?

I love that have have fast travel points, so if you missed something or want to just explore more you can travel back to anywhere there is a fast travel camp. This is really good for finding collectibles like GPS Caches, Relics, Documents. One thing that I do like about finding these and don't is how easy they are to find. Tome Raider has a feature (can't remember the name like Survival Instincts or something like that) where you hit the trigger button (PS3 L2, 360 ???) and everything goes Black and White and hidden things like collectibles and challenges or enemies glow. Enemies and animals will glow and it's really good to see them hiding or if they are through the trees and normally you wouldn't see them. Bad part about this? If you hit L2 and you are looking North (just to pick a direction) anything West, South and East of you (within the range of the effect) will be visible. So you really can just run around (or walk if you want) hitting L2 and when it wears off, do it again.

I think that Salvage should have been used to pay for this ability (I'll get to salvage in a moment) like 5 Salvage for every use, and not the infinite use that it is now.

Salvage is what you use to upgrade your weapons, you can find salvage everywhere. You can find it in boxes, (both crate style and lid style) and you can find them in lockers as well. You can even kill an enemy or an animals and get salvage that way.

Tomb Raider also employes a skill tree if you will. Every time you level up you earn a skill point that you can use for whatever you want. One of the best ones (in my opinion) is arrow retrieval so when you take anything down, when you go over to them you can get your arrow back.

One other thing to note is that there are 7 "Hidden" Tombs, I won't go into what I really want to say about these Tombs and ruin it for you, but each tomb has a Camp, and puzzle that you must complete and a nice reward at the end.

One thing I will say is that you should explore them all, because three Tombs have a special weapon upgrade that you might want to get.

That brings me up to one of the best things about this game, upgrading your weapons. Each weapon has an upgrade, or upgrades. All of them (sans the Tomb one) are found randomly in crates, so make sure you go into every area and collect everything you can. These will also open up more things for you to customize, like upgrading your Bow's fire rate, or how much damage it can do, etc.

The visuals that Crystal Dynamics have done on this game are simply amazing. They are really freaking good. I think that they have pushed the envelope with this game. The different environments are fantastic, the shadows and light refractions are stunning, heck even the motion cap. was so well done that this game has a certain fluidity to it.

I mean, look at this freaking game:

(Original link -

It's beautiful!!!

The sounds in this game are unparalleled. From the music which changes tempo depending on your situations and the eerily quiet parts, to the sounds of chaos all around, CD did a great job with it. one of the best things is that you can eavesdrop on your enemies and you can tell (visually and audibly) if they are going to change positions so you might get a clear silent shot on them.

In the end, if you like the the new look and feel to the game and want to play a game that is unlike anything else, then simply get this game, it really is a classic and will definitely be one of my favorite games I've ever bought and one of the best purchases I’ve ever made.

I give this game a 9.8 out of 10

My only gripe about this game are the lack of Tombs, I would have loved more in the game, but that's just me.

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